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Brad Wiggins signs for SKY to be annouced Thursday AM

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on December 9, 2009

OK so Ive stolen this from the Times website but this is the big news Bradley Wiggins has signed for SKY and its due to be announced in the morning.

By Jeremy Whittle

Team Sky are expected to confirm today that Bradley Wiggins will lead their 2010 road-racing line-up in pursuit of overall victory in next summer’s Tour de France.
The double Olympic gold medal-winner’s keenly awaited move to the British outfit is the culmination of weeks of negotiations between Sky and the Londoner’s American-based team, sponsored by Garmin- Transitions.
Last night, as has been the case for several weeks, Sky insiders refused to comment on Wiggins in detail, but confirmed that “a significant announcement” will be made this morning by David Brailsford, the team principal.
Wiggins’s departure from Garmin has appeared inevitable since comments he made in an interview this autumn revealed the full extent of his disenchantment with his present sponsor.

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“It’s like trying to win the Champions League,” he said of challenging for the Tour de France. “You need to be at Manchester United, but I’m playing at Wigan. I’ve had a good time at Garmin, but times have changed.”
Wiggins, 29, who unexpectedly finished fourth in the 2009 Tour, is rumoured to have accepted an offer from Team Sky well in excess of €1 million (about £905,000), effectively tripling his estimated salary with Garmin.
Speculation was further fuelled when he snubbed the American team’s pre-season get-together in Spain last week. Although he was in Girona, Garmin’s European base, only a few days earlier, Wiggins returned to England before the team’s first preparatory meetings for the 2010 campaign.
However, with one year remaining on his contract, Garmin are expected to seek substantial compensation for the loss of Wiggins, considered a contender for overall victory in next summer’s Tour.
Speculation linking him to Team Sky’s launch as a force in European road racing began midway during the 2009 Tour, when it became apparent that Wiggins, with little track record in leading stage races, was on the threshold of an unprecedented performance.
Other British professionals such as Mark Cavendish and David Millar, both proven Tour riders, were either unavailable or deemed unsuitable. Although an offer, reputed to be in the region of €1 million, was made to Vincenzo Nibali, of Italy, Wiggins remained the No 1 target.
Although Brailsford has denied entering into formal negotiations with Wiggins, contacts were initiated and the sticking point appears to have been the reluctance of Jonathan Vaughters, the Garmin manager, to release the Briton from the remaining year on his contract.
The securing of Wiggins would complete Sky’s search for a genuine Tour contender. His longstanding working relationship with Brailsford and other Sky backroom staff as a member of Team GB will have increased his appeal.
It was long-term support from Team GB support staff that played a key role in Wiggins’s success in last July’s Tour, with dietary and conditioning advice from Nigel Mitchell and Matt Parker. “We worked really hard,” Wiggins said. “It wasn’t something that happened overnight.”
Wiggins’s enthusiasm to return to a British environment may also have been fuelled by the expected loss of the individual pursuit from the London 2012 Olympic track racing programme.
The winner at both the Athens and Beijing Games, Wiggins was hugely disappointed by the International Olympic Committee proposal, which effectively deprived him of the chance to win a third consecutive gold in the men’s individual pursuit.
Wiggins will be 30 next July, considered a peak age for a Tour de France rider, and his future appears increasingly linked to Sky’s effort to win the race. As an outspoken critic of European cycling’s doping culture and an increasingly assertive team leader, he appears to fit Brailsford’s criteria.
Wiggins intends to build his 2010 campaign around the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. “Essentially, it will be pretty similar to 2009,” he said in Manchester last weekend. “I’ve looked at some of the [2010] Tour stages. A lot of people think it won’t be a great Tour for me, but that first week [of flat stages], if anything, is advantageous to me.
“I had one bad day in the Tour this year and that happened to be the day with the most mountains in it, but on some of the other stages, I was really comfortable on the climbs.”
Team Sky’s complete 2010 roster will be officially launched in London on January 4.
Pursuit of excellence
Career highs Individual pursuit world champion 2003, 2007, 2008; team pursuit world champion 2007, 2008; Madison world champion 2008 2004 Olympics individual pursuit gold; team pursuit silver; Madison bronze 2008 Olympics individual pursuit gold; team pursuit gold 2009 Tour de France fourth overall

Sorry for nicking your story Mr Whittle but this is good news.


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